Thursday, September 13, 2007


What was the first question everyone asked when I told them that last weekend I was going to the Professional Golf Association's BMW Championship, in the Chicago suburb of Lamont, Ill.?

"Do you play golf?"

Well, no. I did once spend a frustrating afternoon at a driving range, though. I also don't play football, baseball or basketball -- or indeed any sport with a ball -- but that hasn't kept me away from big-time football, baseball or basketball games.

But never mind. I understand the question, since I imagine a lot more people play golf regularly than those other sports. And on Sunday, spectators around us at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club talked about their golf games lavishly, mostly in bemoaning how poorly they play compared to Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker and the other pros moving down the fairways.

All of the chatter was very hushed, of course, and that was what I liked best about my first PGA tournament. Unlike other pro sports events, a golf match is all but silent. The quiet was very restful, and part of why the tournament was an enormous pleasure. The day was gorgeous and the golf course well-tended, and I could see myself happily spending a peaceful afternoon there regardless. Watching pro golfers work their magic was like a bonus.

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